The White House doesn’t even deny that it only accepts facts when politically expedient

Source: AP
Source: AP

On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had no shame in admitting his boss, President Donald Trump, only accepts facts and figures when they favor his cause.

The admission came after a reporter asked during Spicer's daily press briefing why Trump celebrated Friday's jobs report, when he called previous reports under former President Barack Obama  "phony."

"I talked to the president prior to this," Spicer said. "And he said, to quote him very clearly, 'They may have been phony in the past, but it's very real now.'"

Spicer may have been joking, as he delivered the line with a wry smile and chuckled after he finished. The White House press corps laughed along with him. 

There are multiple instances where Trump and his administration decried polls or news outlets as "fake news" when the information wasn't helpful to their cause, but later touted those same polls or news outlets when they reported something favorable.

Take, for instance, reports from the Congressional Budget Office, a federal agency that provides nonpartisan analysis about how much certain legislation will cost. Spicer referenced CBO reports when they showed problems with the Affordable Care Act.

But on Wednesday, Spicer preemptively sought to discredit the CBO before it released its analysis of the American Health Care Act — the Republican health care bill introduced in the House on Monday.

Trump himself has done the same with CNN. In October, Trump praised a CNN poll that showed him leading rival Hillary Clinton in Ohio. 

But earlier in February, Trump himself admitted that "any negative polls are fake news."

People on Twitter didn't find Spicer's joke funny.

"Trump and company are flippantly (literally laughing) about how the president calls factual news he doesn't like 'phony,'" conservative commentator Noah Rothman tweeted. "This is imprudent."

"When the president needs that trust his judgement in the pursuit of a controversial initiative or intervention abroad, it won't be there," Rothman added.

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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